Nissan announced in March 2011 that its all-electric Leaf would feature seat fabric made from recycled water bottles, but Ford is apparently leading the charge with Repreve, a new polyester fiber made from the plastic.
USA Today explains:
In 2009, Ford mandated that fabric suppliers use a minimum of 25% recycled content for all 2009 and beyond model year vehicles. Since then, 37 different fabrics meeting the requirements have been developed and incorporated into Ford vehicles.
Examples include soy foam seat cushions and head restraints, wheat straw-filled plastic, castor oil foam in instrument panels, recycled resins for underbody systems, recycled yarns on seat covers and natural-fiber plastic for interior components.
Ford is set to debut Repreve at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. It won’t be long before our shops will be calling suppliers asking where we too can get our hands on water-bottle fabrics.
Want to learn more about green upholstery? Read: “How Can Car Interiors Be Eco-Friendly?“.
Some comments our readers posted on The Hog Ring’s Facebook page and another upholstery forum:
Everardo Leal: It’s going to be interesting trying to replace that material.
The Hog Ring: We wonder what its stretch will be like – and how it’ll react to steam.
Everardo Leal: I think it’s reaction to steam will not be good. It will probably do better with a heat gun. I can picture it looking real nice with a French Stitch.
kodydog: Neat Hogring. I wonder if that type fabric will be available for in home use also? And what cost per yard will be?
Nadeem Muaddi- Do you think the use of recycled content in the cars are only for the purpose of going green? Is there any other benefits for using content such as Repreve? Is the material lighter or more sustainable? Is there any price increase in the price tag of the car due to higher cost of recycled contents?